Quick question…. I’m considering switching to homemade food for my dogs – one is a senior and one is moderately overweight – so I’m just trying to learn as much as I can. I notice there are certain ingredients listed in the Nutritional Guidelines for Calcium and Fatty Acids but none of the recipes include these things. Are these added as needed or should be part of each recipe? BTW…thank you for the great article and recipe ideas!
Their health has improved visibly. The one that was prone to overweight slimmed right down. The one that was picky is now a chow hound. And best of all the one that had quit eating and was at death’s door is still with us – she was the original inspiration to start cooking. I vary the protein, the grains, and the veggies but the basic recipe holds. I’ll never go back to that canned slop!
Their health has improved visibly. The one that was prone to overweight slimmed right down. The one that was picky is now a chow hound. And best of all the one that had quit eating and was at death’s door is still with us – she was the original inspiration to start cooking. I vary the protein, the grains, and the veggies but the basic recipe holds. I’ll never go back to that canned slop!
I have been cooking for our three elderly toy poodles (ages 23, 15, and 15) for a couple of years now, with the vet’s approval and suggestions. I use a pressure cooker set at high for 30 minutes. Combine 2 lbs of ground chicken, 12 oz of raw whole grains (brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal, and/or quinoa) and about a cup of mixed veggies (either diced frozen ones from a bag, or leftovers from our table). Add a tablespoon of sea salt (vet suggested that, for the minerals.) Water to cover in the pot – usually about 8 cups. This makes several days’ worth of dog food; we keep one day’s worth in the fridge and freeze the rest. When we dish it out, we add a powdered supplement recommended by the vet for each dog (one has kidney problems, the other two are just old.)

I just started making food for my 10 yr. old lab. Here goes: 2 lbs hamburger 1 lb chicken hearts and gizzards, 1/2 lb beef liver, 8 cups brown rice, large can of collard greens, small can of pumpkin, small can of peas and carrots, 1/2 cup blueberries. I chop up the liverand gizzards. Put it all in 16 cups of water and boli for 20 minutes. I vary the veggies and fruit. She weighs about 90 lbs and needs to lose weight so I feed her 2 lbs a day. I add chia seeds when feeding. 21/4 t a day. She was a picky eater before so she got way too many human food treats. Now she gobbles down her food and no more begging. Just started so I might have to adjust her serving size.


The Pumpkin dog biscuit recipe is incomplete. It calls for cold water, but does not give you instruction on where/when to use said water. It also calls for you to reserve some of the “rice mixture” but then asks you to add the pumpkin mixture (w egg(s), even though recipe says 1 egg). How then would you reserve the mixture to which you are adding? It also says it makes 24 “balls,” but details instructions to roll out on parchment paper. Just overall very unclear.

OMG! Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative page about 25 Simple Dog Treat Recipes. I have read your valuable page and gotten much information. I have learned a lot from you that I did not know before. I confused for choosing the dog food recipes information what would be the best for everything but now my confusion has cleared by your review. I hope your all information will help me. Thanks again Jen Gabbard and Keep it up………..

Many good ideas here, however, I am absolutely appalled that you would suggest a dog eat dairy. A does not suckle a cow, a calf does. Dogs should also not be fed grains “as their ancestors did”. Wolves do not and have not ever eaten grains and as they made the transition to an omnivorous diet, still have never eaten grains. Dogs should ONLY be fed meat and vegetables, and fruit is also okay. Please correct this on your website as soon as possible so avoid giving false information to dog owners and potentially damaging their canines health.
We add 1 tsp Nupro Silver supplement at each of 2 meals we feed daily and a dash of hot water to mix it into a gravy. This gives them all vitamins, minerals, probiotics, amino acids, digestive support and joint support they need and reduces the tedious task of have to greatly vary their diet to account for those things. In the end, I feel it is also more cost effective. The dogs love it!
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Separately, I noticed a lot of negative comments on here about the recipes. Dogs have lived with humans for thousands and thousands of years. They ate what humans ate and thrived, including grains, veggies, fruits, meats and bones. Dogs are more like scavengers and adapt to eating whatever food is available. There is a lot of misconception out there for what kind of food is best, things are usually based on whatever fad is current. Right now paleo and ketogenic diets are popular and you can see that reflected in people’s opinions for dog food. However, some of the oldest living dogs were fed vegan diets— not advocating, just saying. People have a tendency to jump on band wagons without much real evidence to support them. Then after some time, it comes out why that band wagon wasn’t so great after all. The key seems to be to get them off kibble and onto fresh healthy foods and to be balanced. Even the Canine Cancer Series, referenced in another comment, mentioned the need to add fresh veggies to dog food. They said just adding fresh veggies alone to kibble reduced a dog’s cancer risk by a significant amount.

Find out from your vet how much insulin she needs for 10 grams of carbohydrate. Then to the chicken or other meats add turnip greens and sweet potatoes. You might add a small amount of rice Cook the rice in 7 times more water than rice. ( 1 cup of rice to 7 cups of water or 1/4 cup rice to 1 and 3/4 cups if water. 1/2 cup rice to 3 1/2 cups water. I know every rice chart says less but dogs like it better with more water AND dogs drink less water if there is more in the rice.


Surprisingly, there's a number of homemade dog food recipes found online that consist of things that no dog should consume (or consume very little, yet the recipe mentions dangerous amounts). Some of the more extreme examples include giving your dog large amounts of garlic as a way to prevent intestinal worms or feeding your pup avocado, “because it’s healthy for people”.
Hello and thanks for the comment! We believe that having a diet consisting of 50% vegetables of assorted colors and types provides the necessary vitamins needed for any living being. Regarding feeding your dog raw: we completely respect your position and appreciate that you are feeding raw to your dog. Canine Journal has never taken a stance on raw diets. We only shared what the American Veterinary Medical Association’s position is on the matter. We only said that the AVMA is not ok with raw. This is not misinformation this is a fact to show that the AVMA is not behind this. That does not mean that other vets are not behind it. Wishing you and your pup a healthy winter!
When preparing homemade dog treats, make sure you take into account any allergies that your pet has to specific ingredients. You will want to avoid adding any ingredient that you know that your pet has reacted poorly to in the past. If you are experimenting with new flavors, feed the treat to your dog in a small amount to see how he reacts to it before distributing an entire treat. Store your homemade dog treats in an airtight container and place them in the freezer. Allow the treat to thaw for 10 – 20 minutes prior to serving to your dog. Treats can last for up to 6 months in the freezer.
I would love to make these for my dogs! We feed our dogs a raw diet, but unfortunately our Miniature Schnauzer ended up getting pancreatitis (they are prone to it) because of too much fat in his diet. Now, he’s still on raw – just a lower fat diet, but we can’t give him any treats like this anymore – no matter how awesome they sound. Our other dog would LOVE these though. 😉
Unless you are hunting and fishing for your dog… The proteins most people use are farmed. Chicken, beef, pork, fish of all varieties, used for human consumtion, are not the same as from the wild. Even “Organic” meats are still grown on farms. This brings about complications from denser populations that wolves and coyotes dont face when they eat raw. Most people agree Kibble is not a great choice…. The question then becomes is it natural to feed your dog raw farmed meat?
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There are a couple ways that you can do this recipe to make it more fun and interesting for you and your dog. You can either cook the meat and rice/lentils/quinoa up in a pot with water and add the vegetables near the end of cooking. The other option is to cook the rice/lentils/quinoa and vegetables until soft, mix everything together with the raw beef and form them into meatballs. Cook meatballs at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until fully cooked.
I have Bostons too, they are kind of known for their gassiness. 🙂 Anytime there is a dietary change, it can cause some gas, especially if you’ve gone from kibble to fresh. It usually lessens after they get used to the new food. You can try adding some digestive enzymes and perhaps plain unsweetened yogurt or probiotics, which can help if the gas is bad.
I didn’t realize you could make dog treats with only 2 ingredients, That’s awesome! All of the recipes sound great. I read some of the other posts, and I’m borrowing one of the ideas. My daughter is in a Girl Scout troop and her troop’s project is to volunteer at a shelter. I will check with the shelter and see if we can bring homemade treats. Thanks for all of the ideas!
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